on 4 May 2004
I don't often do impetuous things but on my way home from work tonight, as I waiting for my bus on a busy high street, I heard this amazing music playing in the CD shop next to me... a pure blend of African Latin rhythms and a fantastic womans voice. I went in to ask what they were playing and made an instant desicion to purchase it. At that time just a couple of seconds was enough to convince me and listening to the album now I am so glad I took a chance. The music is infectious and uplifting, sensual and lingering. Don't think about it ... just buy it!
on 4 June 2004
Angelique Kidjo's eclectic musical style seems to grow from strength to strength. Her latest album (Oyaya) meaning "joy" in the Yoruba language is exactly as its name suggests. (Oyaya) is the third part of a trilogy in which Angelique traces the roots of African music through the slave trade. A journey that took her to the USA culminating in the album (Oremi); and Brazil which led to the mind blowing (Black Ivory Soul) album. Angelique's travels to Cuba, Haiti and Jamaica have inspired the third and final part of the trilogy, (Oyaya). This new album of hers has a distinct Latin American/Caribbean flavour incorporating rhythms such as salsa, calypso, meringue and ska. Yet the album still manages to preserve an indisputable African feel, reminding us all that Africa lies at the roots of this exciting music. The tracks are sung in a variety of languages including Fon, Yoruba and French. Angelique Kidjo's voice is awesome. I recommend this album without hesitation.
on 19 May 2004
Angélique treats us to sounds from the Caribbean, mainly inspired by her visit to Cuba. Casual listeners may not be able to identify the precise sub-genre of Caribbean music in each song as explained on Angélique's website [...] but will still find the album hugely enjoyable. This is the last album in Angélique's trilogy to present the connections of African roots in the music of United States ('Oremi'), Brazil ('Black Ivory Soul') and the Caribbean ('Oyaya!'). In 'Oyaya!' the Caribbean flavas are nicely spiced with African instruments such as balafon and kora.
The opening track 'Seyin Djoro' has instantly likeable beats, followed by fantastically insistent calypso sounds as well as balafon in 'Congoleo'. Another fun track is 'Oulala' about Aminata, (a very popular name with lyricists, it seems!), with strong sounds of steel drums. Track 3, 'Bala Bala', has intense and pensive slow grooves while the Cuban bolero 'N'Yin Wan Nou We' is a wonderful love song. In 'Le Monde Comme Un Bebe' (what a great sentiment!) Angélique duets with French-Caribbean jazz singer Henri Salvador. 'Mutoto Kwanza', (meaning 'Children First') inspired by Tanzanian children, is appropriately dedicated to UNICEF. Angélique's voice combines beautifully with the kora on 'Adje Dada', leaving me desperate for more ... I believe she could comfortably give us a whole album of songs backed by a kora player. The final track, 'Bissimilai', uses a unique backing chorale by Muslim women recorded in Benin with raw African beats quite different from the other songs on the album.
Loving 'Black Ivory Soul' as much as I do, I wondered if it would be a hard act to follow, but my doubts were unfounded. With 'Oyaya!' Angélique has gone to a still higher level of confidence and competence - even the image on the front of the printed notes indicates that: Angélique seductively invites 'Come on and listen and you'll hear, I just get better and better!' A suitable word to summarise 'Oyaya!'? How about 'Wow'!
on 4 December 2006
O! lala!!! this lady is THE!!! i cant even finish the sentence ;-) Madame Kidjo!, je vous tire mon chapeau!!! absolutely stunning album!!! beautiful strong, sensual and breathtaking vocals!! if not for the music...just the vocals will do!!! African Artistry to its best!! she made caribbean music African again! Fon, French ,mINA!! the combo of languages is deadly!!! heavy drums, Bombardinos, congas, violins, the works!!! SALSA, SKA, BOLERO...THIS IS aFRICAN CARIBEAN AT ITS BEST!!! all i can say is OYAYA!!!!